Chandigarh: Unfenced boundary walls cause for concern at 2 educational institutes

Saurabh Prashar
Unfenced boundary walls cause for concern at 2 educational institutes

The damaged wall near Boys Hostel at PEC where a girl was molested. (Express photo)

THE LOW boundary wall without fencing was left incomplete around one year ago when the height of a portion of the same wall was increased after the incident of harassment with a PU girl in PN Nehra Botanical Garden, staff members at the garden said on Thursday.  A staff member said, “A woman was molested near the back of Botanical Garden in the evening in July 2018. The role of a gardener had come under the scanner. PU officials along with local police had probed the matter. The gardener was given a clean chit. Though the work of increasing the height of boundary wall started, it was left midway because a little portion falls within the jurisdiction of pharmacy department of Panjab University. The height of boundary wall of Botanical Garden is high and it is completely fenced.”

A woman journalist was stalked and molested in the Botanical Garden on December 9. The accused managed to escape into the forest area after scaling the low boundary wall. The journalist had scuffled with the suspect for some time.

Sher Singh, acting head gardener at the Botanical Garden, said, “The work of raising the boundary wall of Botanical Garden was started after the molestation incident with a PU girl student last year. The height of the wall, which falls in the portion of Botanical Garden, was raised and it was fenced completely but the portion of boundary wall, which comes under PU pharmacy department, was untouched. That portion touches the back wall of Hostel Number 6.”

The low boundary wall is without fencing. It is easy to scale the Botanical Garden from forest area opposite, which touches Dhanas link road. When contacted, Chief Security Officer Prof Ashwani Kaul said, “We are doing our best to improve the security of university. All the shortcomings will be removed shortly.” However, the small cavity in the boundary wall of the Punjab Engineering College (PEC), through which the accused of stalking and molesting a 19-year-old girl in the forest area escaped, was covered with bushes and broken branches of tree. The boundary wall is situated near Aravali Hostel inside the PEC premises.

Sarita Malik, a PEC student, said, “We can see people always crossing through PEC after scaling the low boundary wall of the engineering institute. Authorities should raise the height of the wall.”

A senior officer with maintenance department of PEC said, “The work of installing long iron angles along with barbered wires was started but it was stopped due to shortage of funds. Local inhabitants of nearby Janta Colony and Nayagaon village enter PEC in an unauthorised manner.”

Police grope in dark

Three days after the two stalking and molestation cases within two leading educational institutes, the Chandigarh Police has failed to make any progress despite having CCTV footage of one of the suspects. One suspect involved in the stalking/molestation case reported near PEC was caught on CCTV cameras installed at Aravali Hostel. In PU stalking/molestation case, a sketch was prepared but the suspect is yet to be identified.